Studies show that presentations have more impact when the presenter uses hand gestures. It shows that the presenter is more acquainted with the matter as compared to speakers who keep their hands still. Hand gestures are another way to express yourself. However, you have to be careful as to what you do and don’t do with your hands as they can determine how you are perceived by your audience. If your hand movements are awkward, you might be conveying the wrong things. However, if you use proper hand gestures, the audience will perceive you as charismatic and engaging. These hand gestures may not be that important in everyday life, but they play an essential role during presentations. Here are a few things to keep in mind while using the right hand gestures to correctly enhance the effectiveness of the speaker.
The Right Hand Gestures
While presenting, you may be talking about all the right things, but when you use your hands, you captivate the audience. If the gestures are used correctly, you can be sure that they are not distracted. Leaving your hands idle or crossing them can create a wrong impression and even act as a turn-off for your audience. Avoid any fake or negative gesture as it may impact your credibility.
Build The Trust Of The Audience
Any presentation can be considered successful only if the presenter has earned the trust of his audience. Using hand gestures and keeping the palms open assures the audience of your authenticity. Every gesture should be purposeful; using too many gestures might drive away the audience. Hand gestures are a second language, and they communicate powerful messages. Hence, use them well to win the trust of the audience. Emphasize on the main points and use gestures in a meaningful way to exercise full impact on the spectators.
Keep It Natural
Hand gestures come to all of us naturally. The more fluid the hand gestures, the better it is. Getting too robotic with your hand gestures can end up messing up your speech, so do what comes naturally to you. Go with the flow. You need to find the balance between being too stiff and being too jazzy – the perfect gesture should be expressive and responsive. When you let your hands move freely while making a presentation, you tend to go with the flow, and even your speech doesn’t sound staged.
Be Aware Of The Key Subject
You can only be natural and smooth with your gestures when you are dealing with a subject that you are well aware of. So, it is important to know what you are talking about. Otherwise, whatever you do with your hands will seem choreographed. The worst thing that can happen in a presentation is to forget what you are talking about and get lost while your hands are still moving. Therefore, to avoid getting stuck, prepare before time, and you won’t have any trouble later.
Don’t Deviate From The Topic
Sometimes, you tend to go on and on, and the gestures can appear confusing. It’s important to always confine yourself to the topic and use gestures for specific points. If your gestures are unclear or if your hands wander too much, you might end up distracting your audience. Communicate the accurate meaning of your message by using open gestures. If, at any point, it doesn’t feel right with the gestures, just drop your hands to your sides for a bit instead of using random gestures that make no sense.
Relaxed Body Language
Finally, always remember to remain relaxed. As a presenter, an open body language can make you appear more approachable. Standing upright and using firm but flexible gestures show control and confidence as opposed to crossed arms. Keep taking short breaks from the gestures to relax before you get back to another mandatory 'hand gesture needed' point.
The hand gestures you use during a presentation matter a lot. They have the power to either put your audience off or grab their attention. Keep these points in mind and use them properly to avoid creating a negative impact on your spectators. Adding authentic hand gestures to your presentation can help you create a memorable and impactful experience and even boost your confidence. So, the next time you have a presentation, you know what to do with your hands.